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      Antarctica challenges the new horizons in predictive, preventive, personalized medicine: preliminary results and attractive hypotheses for multi-disciplinary prospective studies in the Ukrainian “Akademik Vernadsky” station

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          Antarctica is a unique place to study the health condition under the influence of environmental factors on the organism in pure form. Since the very beginning of the scientific presence of Ukraine in the Antarctic, biomedical research has been developed for the monitoring of individual biomarkers of winterers and medical accompaniment in Antarctic expeditions.

          The aim of the study was to analyze and discuss the retrospective data of long-term monitoring and observations in Ukrainian Antarctica station “Akademik Vernadsky,” providing multi-scale biomedical information with regard to conditions of a perfect isolation from technological and social influences and under extreme environmental factors.


          Medical and biological studies have been performed with the participation of all 20 Ukrainian wintering expeditions. We surveyed 200 males aged 20–60 years (mean age 37 years). Extensive medical examinations were carried out before the expedition, during the selection of candidates, and after returning, and particular functions were monitored during the entire stay in Antarctica. The medical records were analyzed to study the reaction of the human organism on phenomena like “Antarctic syndrome,” dysadaptation, anxiety, desynchronosis, photoperiodism, influence of climatic and meteofactors like “Schumann resonance,” infrasound, “ozone hole,” and “sterile” environment; important aspects of its role on human health were precisely studied and discussed.


          The examinations showed the multi-level symptoms of the processes of dysregulation and dysadaptation, as functional tension in the sympathetic-adrenal system rights, especially during urgent adaptation to the Antarctic (1-month stay at the station) and, to a lesser extent, after returning from an expedition to Kyiv. At the initial, adaptation to the conditions of the Antarctic levels of urinary catecholamines (epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, DOPA) increased compared with the start of the expedition (23.2 ± 4.3 and 53.3 ± 5 2 mmol/l, p < 0.001; 67.1 ± 12.3 and 138.3 ± 16.9 mmol/l, p < 0.01; 1749.6 ± 476.5 vs 7094.6 ± 918.3 mmol/l, p < 0.001; 129.6 ± 12.3 and 349.9 ± 40.6 mmol/l, p < 0.001, respectively). In the blood serum of 100 % of the expedition, we found an increase of oxidative stress markers—the level of TBARS increased by 41.2 %, i.e., the activation of free radical peroxidation. Thus, in 80 % of the participants, we observed a reduction in the activity of the SOD antiradical enzyme vs 58 % in the controls. Changes in brain electrical activity after a long stay at the Antarctic stations showed increasing delta rhythms, signs of CNS protective inhibition, likely due to hypoxia. We found changes in the concentrations of microelements (iron, copper, zinc, etc.) in the blood of winterers after the expedition. The polychrome-adaptive method of correcting the changes of the psycho-emotional state in a monochrome Antarctic environment was successfully applied.


          The preliminary results of the retrospective study and our own observations of the fundamental physiological mechanisms of the negative influence of extreme environmental factors on an organism in the absence of man-made origin factors allow the determination of many mechanisms of “pre-pathology” processes which promise to develop the pathogenetically based pro-active prevention methods for a number of common diseases to set prospective interdisciplinary research in predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine.

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          Most cited references 46

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          Circadian clocks and metabolism are inextricably intertwined, where central and hepatic circadian clocks coordinate metabolic events in response to light-dark and sleep-wake cycles. We reveal an additional key element involved in maintaining host circadian rhythms, the gut microbiome. Despite persistence of light-dark signals, germ-free mice fed low or high-fat diets exhibit markedly impaired central and hepatic circadian clock gene expression and do not gain weight compared to conventionally raised counterparts. Examination of gut microbiota in conventionally raised mice showed differential diurnal variation in microbial structure and function dependent upon dietary composition. Additionally, specific microbial metabolites induced under low- or high-fat feeding, particularly short-chain fatty acids, but not hydrogen sulfide, directly modulate circadian clock gene expression within hepatocytes. These results underscore the ability of microbially derived metabolites to regulate or modify central and hepatic circadian rhythm and host metabolic function, the latter following intake of a Westernized diet.
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            General Report & Recommendations in Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine 2012: White Paper of the European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine

            This report is the collective product of word-leading experts working in the branches of integrative medicine by predictive, preventive and personalised medicine (PPPM) under the coordination of the European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine. The general report has been prepared as the consortium document proposed at the EPMA World Congress 2011 which took place in Bonn, Germany. This forum analyzed the overall deficits and trends relevant for the top-science and daily practice in PPPM focused on the patient. Follow-up consultations resulted in a package of recommendations for consideration by research units, educators, healthcare industry, policy-makers, and funding bodies to cover the current knowledge deficit in the field and to introduce integrative approaches for advanced diagnostics, targeted prevention, treatments tailored to the person and cost-effective healthcare.
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              The primary vascular dysregulation syndrome: implications for eye diseases

              Vascular dysregulation refers to the regulation of blood flow that is not adapted to the needs of the respective tissue. We distinguish primary vascular dysregulation (PVD, formerly called vasospastic syndrome) and secondary vascular dysregulation (SVD). Subjects with PVD tend to have cold extremities, low blood pressure, reduced feeling of thirst, altered drug sensitivity, increased pain sensitivity, prolonged sleep onset time, altered gene expression in the lymphocytes, signs of oxidative stress, slightly increased endothelin-1 plasma level, low body mass index and often diffuse and fluctuating visual field defects. Coldness, emotional or mechanical stress and starving can provoke symptoms. Virtually all organs, particularly the eye, can be involved. In subjects with PVD, retinal vessels are stiffer and more irregular, and both neurovascular coupling and autoregulation capacity are reduced while retinal venous pressure is often increased. Subjects with PVD have increased risk for normal-tension glaucoma, optic nerve compartment syndrome, central serous choroidopathy, Susac syndrome, retinal artery and vein occlusions and anterior ischaemic neuropathy without atherosclerosis. Further characteristics are their weaker blood–brain and blood-retinal barriers and the higher prevalence of optic disc haemorrhages and activated astrocytes. Subjects with PVD tend to suffer more often from tinnitus, muscle cramps, migraine with aura and silent myocardial ischaemic and are at greater risk for altitude sickness. While the main cause of vascular dysregulation is vascular endotheliopathy, dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system is also involved. In contrast, SVD occurs in the context of other diseases such as multiple sclerosis, retrobulbar neuritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and giant cell arteritis. Taking into consideration the high prevalence of PVD in the population and potentially linked pathologies, in the current article, the authors provide recommendations on how to effectively promote the field in order to create innovative diagnostic tools to predict the pathology and develop more efficient treatment approaches tailored to the person.

                Author and article information

                [ ]National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ministry of Education of Ukraine, 16, Taras Shevchenko Boulevard, Kyiv, 01601 Ukraine
                [ ]Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 4, Bogomoletz str., Kyiv, 01024 Ukraine
                [ ]Institute of Neurology, Psychiatry and Narcology of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, 46, Akademika Pavlova str., Kharkiv, 61068 Ukraine
                [ ]Institute for Occupational Health of National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, Saksaganskogo str., 75, Kyiv, 01033 Ukraine
                [ ]Zhytomyr Ivan Franko State University, 40, Velyka Berdychivska Str., Zhytomyr, 10008 Ukraine
                [ ]G.S. Kostyuk Institute of Psychology of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, 2, Pankivska str., Kyiv, 01033 Ukraine
                [ ]Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary
                [ ]Clinical Hospital ‘Pheophania’ of State Management of Affairs Department, 21, Zabolotny str., Kyiv, 03680 Ukraine
                [ ]Zabolotny Institute of Microbiology and Virology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 154, Zabolotny Str., Kyiv, 03680 Ukraine
                [ ]Ukrainian Academy of Informatics, Kyiv, Ukraine
                [ ]National Scientific Center ‘Mykola Strazhesko Institute of Cardiology’ of National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, 5, Narodnoho Opolchennya str., Kyiv, Ukraine
                EPMA J
                EPMA J
                The EPMA Journal
                BioMed Central (London )
                31 May 2016
                31 May 2016
                : 7
                © Moiseyenko et al. 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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